Saturday, November 15, 2003

Jonas en de Walvisch

I have seen several references to a Dutch ship called Jonas en de Walvisch. That seems to have stemmed from a misreading of an document, or something that was simply mistaken. There were clearly two distinct ships. One was the Amsterdam Admiralty ship commanded by Joris de Colerij (there are many spellings of his name: de Taullery, de Caulery, for example), called the Jonas. The reference for this is on page 202 of Schetsen uit de Geschiedenis van ons Zeewezen, Vol. V, by Dr. Johan E. Elias.

There was another ship, belonging to the Amsterdam Directors, commanded by Abraham Verleth, called the Walvisch. The Walvisch carried 30 guns and had a crew of 110 men. The reference for this is a note on the next page (page 203) of the same volume.

This work is an important source of information about the First Anglo-Dutch War. The only problem may be that I have not seen a library copy in the U.S., although there is bound to be. I have a very poor copy, in paper, that is falling apart, and a very nice hardbound copy. Apparently, the work is available in the Netherlands, if you will look in one of the used and out-of-print book search web sites.

--Jim Bender

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